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Bristow lifts the lid on Lydd for AW189 SAR flights
Lydd completes a perfect ten SAR bases for Bristow, which has been operating from temporary facilities on the London Ashford site up to now. A pair of AW189 rotorcraft will deliver the service.

Bristow has delivered on a contract it was awarded in 2013 by unveiling a tenth UK search and rescue base at Lydd airport in Kent.

The other bases around the UK operated by Bristow are at Sumburgh, Stornoway, Inverness, Prestwick, Caernarfon, St Athan, Humberside, Lee-on-Solent and Newquay.

The 10-year contract was awarded five years ago by the UK Department for Transport and represents a 1.9bn GBP investment in the service.

Director of UK SAR Russ Torbet says: "Search and rescue plays a vital part in protecting people on land and at sea. Our crews are dedicated to doing everything they can to increase the chances of survival of anyone who finds themselves in a position where air rescue is needed.

"The new bases we have now constructed give our crews access to the best facilities to carry out vital, life-saving work. This includes the high standard of living quarters available and the operations and engineering control areas, which are crucial to the day-to-day running of the service.

"We also want to recognise the work of Westridge Construction, the local contractor appointed to create this site. It has maintained the standards set at the six previous new bases across the UK."

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport Nusrat Ghani MP was at the launch. She comments: "This new base at Lydd means helicopter crews and volunteers can continue to provide a vital emergency service, keeping people safe in the sea, on beaches and at other coastal areas in Kent and the south east. Our investment will provide state-of-the-art helicopters that can fly faster and further than before, reaching people in need more quickly."

Director of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Richard Parkes adds: "The HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter crews based at Lydd have been delivering an exceptional service for the past three years out of temporary facilities. It gives me great pleasure to see them permanently settled. I have no doubt that the addition of these facilities and the new AW189 helicopters will enable the team to continue to deliver a world class service that we all can be proud of."

Two AW189s will be stationed at Lydd, and the base will be led by former RAF Sea King pilot Neil Robertson.

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